Youth Programs

IPO’s Educational Programming reaches 4,000+ school children of all ages each year

Vision for Education and Community Engagement

IPO believes music education is fundamental to developing vibrant and creative people and communities.  IPO’s Education and Engagement programming will bolster and support the efforts of highly qualified music educators, finding ways to deepen musical experiences for students of all ages.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is the largest performing arts organization in Chicago’s Southland, providing professional orchestral music of beauty and excellence to the region with a strong commitment to education. Through a wide variety of engaging programs designed to meet the needs of students, teachers, and community members of all ages, we strive to build a stronger community and impart our passion of music and the arts.

2025 Youth Concert
April 22, 2025
Two Concerts: 10am & 12pm

Center For Performing Arts at Governors State University
University Park, IL

Join IPO for an enchanting orchestral presentation that will take students into a world where music becomes pure magic. This presentation is designed to introduce 3rd through 8th-grade audiences to the wonders of the orchestra. Additionally, it actively engages students in the compositional process, resulting in a unique world premiere crafted during each and every performance.

Recommended Audience: 3rd Grade through 8th Grade


IPO Education Programs

Artists in Schools

Choose from three exciting and enjoyable small ensemble performances, designed to introduce students to instruments of the orchestra and a variety of engaging repertoire. Students of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy a visit from IPO musicians to their schools, performing classical music for some children for the very first time.

To schedule an Artists in Schools visit, contact or call 708.481.7774.

Educators may choose from the following three programs:

String Quartet
(2 violins, viola, cello)

George Frideric Handel Entrance of the Queen of Sheba
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Divertimento, mvt. 1
Richard Rogers Edelweiss
Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet, mvt. 2
Leonard Cohen Hallelujah
Elton John Can You Feel the Love Tonight
Carlos Gardel Por Una Cabeza
Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez Let It Go
Queen Don’t Stop Me Now

Recommended Audience: 3rd – 8th Grade
Brass Quintet
(2 trumpets, french horn, trombone, tuba)
Henry Purcell Trumpet Voluntary
Samuel Scheidt
Galliard Battaglia 
Marin Marais
La Basque
Arthur Pryor
The Blue Bells of Scotland
Jeffrey Moss
Rubber Ducky
Gioachino Rossini
William Tell Overture
Recommended Audience: 3rd – 5th Grade
Woodwind Quintet
(flute, oboe, clarinet, french horn, bassoon, narration)
Sergei Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf
Recommended Audience: 3rd – 5th Grade

Meet the Maestro

IPO partners with high orchestras throughout the Chicago Southland by sending Music Director Stilian Kirov to lead rehearsals with students, working on technique and developing musicianship. Students also participate in a question and answer session following the rehearsal.

Recommended Audience: High School
Free to schools!

Meet the Musician

IPO musicians visit local schools to lead rehearsals and demonstrate impressive musical skills to students. Students have the opportunity to ask questions about instrument technique and pursuing a musical career.

Recommended Audience: 5th – 12th Grade

IPO Coachings

IPO offers high school students the opportunity to learn directly from professional musicians in individualized sectional rehearsals. In some instances, schools may elect to culminate coachings in side by side performances including IPO musicians.

Recommended Audience: High School

Guest Artist Visits

Each year the IPO welcomes a variety of internationally acclaimed guest artists to share the stage with the orchestra. Many guest artists are willing to visit area schools to perform, provide masterclasses, and answer questions from students. (Pictured is violinist Netanel Draiblate visiting Joliet Central High School.)

Recommended Audience: High School

To schedule an IPO education program, contact or 708.481.7774

Rising Star Showcase

The Rising Star Showcase is a program designed to offer performance-ready music students from Chicago’s South Suburbs a chance to perform before a live audience. Past IPO Rising Stars have gone on to great musical success, with many securing collegiate music scholarships. A notable number of Rising Stars have also become accomplished, professional musicians after participating in the program.



IPO is a Strategic Partner of SYSO

IPO and Suburban Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) are committed to partnering on multiple levels to ensure that the Chicago Southland community flourishes through music.

Each spring, IPO musicians act as SYSO chamber group coaches, rehearsing with students weekly leading up to the Hearts and Roses concert.

Additionally, IPO musicians perform side by side with students in SYSO’s Incredible Opportunity Program, serving beginning string students in the Glenwood schools.